How to Effectively Make a Change on the way Fashion Works

How to Effectively Make a Change on the way Fashion Works

panel at CSM samanta bullock
Why diversity is still not Fully embraced by the Fashion Industry. Panel at CSM

I have been approaching this subject for a long time now. We all have a kind of responsibility of why things don’t change. I normally talk about matters related to fashion, but why are places not accessible, why is the work place not prepared, why are we ok with this exclusion, why don’t we say it is not ok? 

Ok, maybe you are one of a small percentage of the population that is doing  something about it, but really, most people and organisations seem not too interested. What are you doing to make a more inclusive world? What are your friends doing about it? When do you expect to see a change if everyone is conforming to the status quo?

samanta bullock wheelchair model
Fashion Inclusivo- Brazil

I am thinking about these questions and realising most people want a change but they don’t want to work at it. I have this proposal for you and I hope you adopt it and I hope you pass the idea around.

The industry will move in direction that money will say. In other words money will set the direction. It means buyers and customers have the power.

Let’s think together. If in the world we are 20% of the population (disabled people), we all have to buy clothes and we all have family and friends. We know a lot of brands are doing something around inclusivity nowadays. Let’s associate with them. Let’s help them, they are doing something right and they must be rewarded for the work. Equality is a big deal, its not fair to leave people out of the party as I normally say, it is also discrimination. 

If we all get together, with family, friends, carers, partners, etc, we will be a higher percentage of the world, and it has an impact. Don’t you think? Only buy from brands/ designer/ shops/ that include disabled models, curves, gender, colour, anything that has something to do with minorities and with diversity. Like this we will have more visibility, we will have a voice, and people we understand we are here.

I am working with a new designer in England and with brands that are including wheelchair influencers etc. There are plenty of them. I will mention a few of them here:

Peter Twiss, The House of Radha, Gunda, Vinette, London Organic, Fashions Finest,

Contessina London, Delphine the Label, Louise Linderoth, Kantala, Samsonite, Labels are Limitations, Nara Nubia, Femelle, Rua Luja…

access magazine cover samanta bullockHere are only a few of them. Check my Instagram SAMABULLOCK for more, you will see all of the ones I worked with, but is there many more that are working towards it: Primark, Teatum Jones, ASOS, Tommy Hilfiger, River Island… and how you see many mainstream brands are also embracing this idea.

Check, research. We can support them and they will support us. More visibility we get more power we have to change this “invisible” situation we are stuck in.

Brands know the profit in making a more equal world and empowering their customers.

Diversity is fun. We vote with our money. Let’s vote in the right way.

Much love. Together we can. Sam

How to Love our Bodies as Disabled People.

How to Love our Bodies as Disabled People.

MASSAGE samanta bullock kuschall wheelchair model
Kuschall
Hello my gorgeous friends.
We all need to love and respect our bodies.  In the end, it is our bodies that give us the platform to live and perform at our best in this world. A body full of energy is still one of our goals in these days of fast food, lack of sleep and not much moving around. Also, the concept that we need all be ‘the same’ as the prototype that the magazines sell  “skinny, white, young” … Am I wrong? The other day I watched a video on Youtube talking about it and showing A+B that what I am saying seems to be true.
As a wheelchair user, I will tell you my experience and things I do to love not only my body but also myself. When we are disabled sometimes the lack of feeling in a limb or limbs make us ignore that part of our body.
Firstly, many times I tend to ignore my leg that I don’t feel as a result of my spinal cord injury, so what I do is I try to pay attention to it. As you probably know right now I love to have a bath every day (when its possible) and there I will massage, soap, and try somehow to interact with that leg. I also like to have a massage and I know budgets can be tight sometimes and massage is not the cheapest thing in the world, but you can offer a shared massage.  You massage someone and they do it back, as a friend, a partner, your mum etc… It is also a nice way to be in contact with other people.
samanta bullock wheelchair modell bath regis london
Bath by Anakphotography
Regia London Earrings

I know my leg is thin and it bothers me sometimes, but there nothing I can do, apart from to try to move it as much I can. I do look at myself in the mirror and I say in a loud voice, ‘I love you, I respect you and I will do all I can for you to have a good and long life. I love you! I look straight into my eyes and also at my legs, making the point that they are part of me and I love them the way they are.  Another form of showing love is caring, so I try to move my legs as much as I can so they will have the amount of exercise that they need as I am always in moving but most of the time my legs are static. Cycling, swimming and yoga are activities that I can do to make sure my legs are “alive”.

behind scars samanta bullock wheelchair user model
Love my Body – Picture by Sophie Mayanne

It is a fact that our legs will get thin unless we move them or you have spasms etc.  I always thought with me it won’t happen to me, but it did, and it will keep doing. Calcium is another important point, mainly if you are a woman and after the age of 40 let’s say calcium levels go down considerably. I have calcium supplements and Vitamin D too as London is not the sunniest city in the world.  There is not often the opportunity to sunbathe. Things I do in general is to have a nightly routine, where I apply my creams, light a nice candle and burn some oil to relax and enjoy myself with a nice cup tea or occasionally a glass of wine (why not) or a drink of your preference. I also love Kombucha as you probably know too.

I like to have this 10 minutes before going to bed to “meditate” (pray) and be in contact with my inner self and I try to remember that this life, after all, is a play and we won’t be here for long. So I don’t judge myself and try to understand that everyone is on their own path trying to be happy some how. So laugh and enjoying the moment is a must do every day.

These are only a few things I do but if you like to know more about my self-care and how I build my confidence let me know in the comments and I will write another article for you.

legs samanta bullock wheelchair user boots winter
My legs. I love you.
Pandora’s Box – The drama of my accident on my passion

Pandora’s Box – The drama of my accident on my passion

samanta bullock before accident abled body wheelchair debut
Before my Accident

When I did my first fashion show I was only 8 years old. I loved it so much that I always knew what I wanted to be in life. I can’t record that I wanted to be anything other than a model. Even a tennis player that I already was at that time, I didn’t want to be. This was something that ‘accidentally’ happened later on. I would say I like to play tennis as I would like to play handball and I was good at both of them. Coming back to my dream, to be a model was what I wanted to be. 

What to say to a 14-year-old when she became disabled that the thing she was doing wouldn’t be possible anymore? That she wouldn’t do this, that she couldn’t do that.  Yes, I was sadder I couldn’t walk on the catwalk anymore than to walk on its own. I would mind being disabled if I could walk in the catwalk and to come back to my wheelchair afterward.

The fact was, no one was doing, we didn’t have it, It would be a dream, even a dream, it wasn’t a possibility. How could you be a model 30 years ago if you were disabled? Are you crazy? …

samanta bullock wheelchair model able model capao da canoa fashion show 13 years old
13- years-old me.

Two months after my accident while I was still in the recovery process I got a call from an agency in Sao Paulo in Brazil asking me to model for them in Italy. The fact was I couldn’t even fight at that moment as disabled people didn’t have any representation in the fashion industry.  I and never seen a disabled model on the catwalk or in magazines. Even today who is the model you have in mind when we talk about disabled models, maybe those with a minor disability, the ones the industry accept, but really who do we have as a role model? We are not even there yet to have a name that will be in your mind, maybe a few, but the name that the world know at the top of the tongue as Gisele, Naomi… many years of beautiful work that these girls are doing? It was taken from me, and I was not allowed to model again ( at that time).

I would like my legacy to make the world more inclusive, to have a new generation of models and influencers, and to give visibility to disabled people. I don’t want another me at 14 years old frustrated because she (or he) couldn’t be what she (or he) wants to be.

wheelchair model vogue samanta bullock . london fashion week
Samanta Bullock – Wheelchair Model at Vogue

The option should be there. We should rediscover ourselves, make us feel beautiful, to feel relevant. 

I am asking you to be open to the new concepts of beauty. We are here, we exist, we can’t be ignored. Also, the world is craving for more reality, for more acceptance and greater representation. 

Sorry to tell you the Pandora’s box has been opened. We won’t come back and we won’t be quiet. From here on we only can move forward. 

Are you coming together?

Love Sam

The House of Radha – Fashion through Music

The House of Radha – Fashion through Music

Hello guys.
samanta bullock radha wheelchair model disability When I say fashion is getting more inclusive could be that I am being optimistic, and I am, but a few years ago we would imagine brands to be contacting our working with disabled models. Its where I came to give them a voice and help them to make sure there are making the right thing making clothes for everyone.
I had a photo shoot with the wonderful Radha. She is knowing the designer and has been to Paris and Fashions Finest, London Fashion Week and much more with her collection. Her inspiration come through the music, and I am so happy we are working together to empower women.
Here is little about her story you would like to know. samanta bullock radha wheelchair model disability
Radha:
Has a very prestigious history, while the label is still young the designer showcased her first Couture collection in London Fashion Week 2017 and was nominated for Britain’s Top Designer award in Fashion’s Finest.  The Label showcased Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo’s CR7 Collection in MadieraFashionWeekend, Portugal in Spring.  The Designer then went to the debut.
Her second couture collection in Paris Fashion Week, as part of OxfordFashionStudio where her collection “Light Through the Darkness” was received to great acclaim by the international press and Fashion Industry.

The garment should do more than clothe a body, it must become an experience for the wearer.  Fashion is an art, a platform to express feelings of emotion, joy, and sensuality.  samanta bullock radha wheelchair model disability

 

The personal narrative of each piece is a combination of strength, empowerment, and love.  These elements are achieved and captured in the bespoke and unique surface prints.

Customers are made to feel strong, empowered and part of a magical experience that only when you wear one of the handcrafted garments do you appreciate all the love that has gone into each piece. Her collections withhold meaning beyond the fabric, she incorporates aspects such as nature, architecture, cultures, music, and traditions.
The Fashion events even embody the essence of the Label by featuring Catwalk models from diverse backgrounds and cultures to make it a universal show and everyone being equal on the fashion runway.  Music has been and still is a strong influence on the designer’s work and life.  Radha spent time in the beautiful island of Ibiza where she was inspired by the music and culture.
samanta bullock radha wheelchair model disability
Radha Collection

Music and dance are celebrated by each individual and this then takes one to a place of euphoria and to feel the positive energy and vibes. This is why she developed the Label to celebrate both the House Music and Fashion that brings a connection through each and every one of us.

Radha

The House of Radha came to revolutionary the Fashion with it’s modern and audacious brand. Check her out: https://www.thehouseofradha.co.uk
Love Sam